Virtual Events

Jennifer De Leon & Daisy Hernández - White Space & The Kissing Bug (Online Event)

Monday, June 14, 2021 - 4:00pm


Book Passage Presents

Mon., June 14th, 2021 • 4:00pm PT •  Live • Online

Signed bookplates available!

WATCH HERE  SUBSCRIBE TO OUR E-NEWSLETTER
This event will be broadcast live and does not require registration to attend. To view, click the "Watch Here" button at the time of the event, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a ten-minute reminder.
 



Sometime in her twenties, Jennifer De Leon asked herself, “What would you do if you just gave yourself permission?” While her parents had fled Guatemala over three decades earlier when the country was in the grips of genocide and civil war, she hadn’t been back since she was a child. She gave herself permission to return—to relearn the Spanish that she had forgotten, unpack her family’s history, and begin to make her own way.

Alternately honest, funny, and visceral, White Space is a powerful collection that follows De Leon as she comes of age as a Guatemalan-American woman and learns to navigate the space between two worlds. Never rich or white enough for her posh college, she finds herself equally adrift in her first weeks in her parents’ home country. During the years to follow, she would return to Guatemala again and again, meet ex-guerrillera and genocide survivors, get married in the old cobblestoned capital of Antigua, and teach her newborn son about his roots.

 

Growing up in a New Jersey factory town in the 1980s, Daisy Hernández believed that her aunt had become deathly ill from eating an apple. No one in her family—in either the United States or Colombia—spoke of infectious diseases. Even into her thirties, she only knew that her aunt had died of Chagas, a rare and devastating illness that affects the heart and digestive system. But as Hernández dug deeper, she discovered that Chagas—or the kissing bug disease—is more prevalent in the United States than the Zika virus.

After her aunt’s death, Hernández began searching for answers. Crisscrossing the country, she interviewed patients, doctors, epidemiologists, and even veterinarians with the Department of Defense. She learned that in the United States more than three hundred thousand people in the Latinx community have Chagas, and that outside of Latin America, this is the only country with the native insects—the “kissing bugs”—that carry the Chagas parasite. Through unsparing, gripping, and humane portraits, Hernández chronicles a story vast in scope and urgent in its implications, exposing how poverty, racism, and public policies have conspired to keep this disease hidden. A riveting and nuanced investigation into racial politics and for-profit healthcare in the United States, The Kissing Bug reveals the intimate history of a marginalized disease and connects us to the lives at the center of it all.

 

Jennifer De Leon is the author of Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From and editor of Wise Latinas: Writers on Higher Education. De Leon has published prose in over a dozen literary journals, including Ploughshares, the Iowa Review, and Michigan Quarterly Review, and is a GrubStreet instructor and board member. She is assistant professor of creative writing at Framingham State University and makes her home in the Boston area.

Daisy Hernández is a former reporter for The New York Times and has been writing about the intersections of race, immigration, class, and sexuality for almost two decades. She edited Colonize This! Young Women of Color on Today’s Feminism and Colorlines, a newsmagazine on race and politics, and she has written for National Geographic, NPR’s All Things Considered, Code Switch, The Atlantic, Slate, and Guernica. She is the author of the award-winning memoir A Cup of Water Under My Bed, and is a professor at Miami University in Ohio.


Jennifer De Leon photo courtesy of author; Daisy Hernández photo by Bosch Studios

 

Alec MacGillis with Stacy Mitchell - Fulfillment: Winning and Losing in One-Click America (Online Event)

Sunday, May 2, 2021 - 4:00pm


Conversations with Authors

Sunday, May 2nd, 2021

Live • Online • 4:00pm PT/7:00pm ET



Conversations with Authors is our free online event series! Join us throughout the week new chats with different authors.

 

An award-winning journalist investigates Amazon’s impact on the wealth and poverty of towns and cities across the United States.

In 1937, the famed writer and activist Upton Sinclair published a novel bearing the subtitle A Story of Ford-America. He blasted the callousness of a company worth “a billion dollars” that underpaid its workers while forcing them to engage in repetitive and sometimes dangerous assembly line labor. Eighty-three years later, the market capitalization of Amazon.com has exceeded one trillion dollars, while the value of the Ford Motor Company hovers around thirty billion. We have, it seems, entered the age of one-click America—and as the coronavirus makes Americans more dependent on online shopping, its sway will only intensify.

Alec MacGillis’s Fulfillment is not another inside account or exposé of our most conspicuously dominant company. Rather, it is a literary investigation of the America that falls within that company’s growing shadow. As MacGillis shows, Amazon’s sprawling network of delivery hubs, data centers, and corporate campuses epitomizes a land where winner and loser cities and regions are drifting steadily apart, the civic fabric is unraveling, and work has become increasingly rudimentary and isolated.

Ranging across the country, MacGillis tells the stories of those who’ve thrived and struggled to thrive in this rapidly changing environment. In Seattle, high-paid workers in new office towers displace a historic black neighborhood. In suburban Virginia, homeowners try to protect their neighborhood from the environmental impact of a new data center. Meanwhile, in El Paso, small office supply firms seek to weather Amazon’s takeover of government procurement, and in Baltimore a warehouse supplants a fabled steel plant. Fulfillment also shows how Amazon has become a force in Washington, D.C., ushering readers through a revolving door for lobbyists and government contractors and into CEO Jeff Bezos’s lavish Kalorama mansion.

With empathy and breadth, MacGillis demonstrates the hidden human costs of the other inequality—not the growing gap between rich and poor, but the gap between the country’s winning and losing regions. The result is an intimate account of contemporary capitalism: its drive to innovate, its dark, pitiless magic, its remaking of America with every click.

Alec MacGillis is a senior reporter for ProPublica and the recipient of the George Polk Award, the Robin Toner prize, and other honors. He worked previously at The Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and The New Republic, and his journalism has appeared in The New York Times Magazine, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and other publications. His ProPublica reporting on Dayton, Ohio was the basis of a PBS Frontline documentary about the city. He is the author of The Cynic, a 2014 biography of Mitch McConnell. He lives in Baltimore.

Stacy Mitchell is the Co-Director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which produces research and develops policy to counter corporate control and build thriving, equitable communities. Stacy has written extensively about the dangers of monopoly power and her articles and reports have influenced lawmakers, journalists, and advocates. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, The Nation, The New York Times, and The Washington Post.  She’s the author of the book Big-Box Swindle, and several in-depth reports, including  “Amazon’s Stranglehold,” which has drawn wide praise for illuminating the scope of the company‘s power and impact.  In 2020, the New York Times profiled Stacy, describing her as "the strategist of the demise of Amazon as we know it.” She lives in Portland, Maine.

 

Alec MacGillis photo by J. M. Giordano; Stacy Mitchell photo courtesy of author

 

Nesrine Malik with Rafia Zakaria - We Need New Stories (Online Event)

Wednesday, June 16, 2021 - 12:00pm


Book Passage Presents

Wed., June 16th, 2021 • 12:00pm PT • Live • Online

In conversation with Rafia Zakaria

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR E-NEWSLETTER
This event will be broadcast live and does not require registration to attend. To view, please click the "Watch Here" button at the time of the event, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a ten-minute reminder.
 

 

A rigorous examination of six political myths used to deflect and discredit demands for social justice.

In 2016, presidential candidate Donald Trump declared: "I think the big problem this country has is being politically correct." Reeling from his victory, Democrats blamed the corrosive effect of "identity politics." When banned from Twitter for inciting violence, Trump and his supporters claimed that the measure was an assault on "free speech." In We Need New Stories, Nesrine Malik explains that all of these arguments are political myths—variations on the lie that American values are under assault.

Exploring how these and other common political myths function, she breaks down how they are employed to subvert calls for equality from historically disenfranchised groups. Interweaving reportage with an incendiary analysis of American history and politics, she offers a compelling account of how calls to preserve "free speech" are used against the vulnerable; how a fixation with "wokeness," "political correctness," and "cancel culture" is in fact an organized and well-funded campaign by elites; and how the fear of racial minorities and their “identity politics” obscures the biggest threat of all—white terrorism. What emerges is a radical framework for understanding the crises roiling American contemporary politics.

Nesrine Malik is an award-winning British-Sudanese columnist and features writer for the Guardian. We Need New Stories is her first book. She lives in London.

Rafia Zakaria is author of The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan, Veil, the forthcoming Against White Feminism, and many essays for the Guardian, CNN, and the New York Times Book Review. She is a regular columnist for Dawn in Pakistan and the Baffler in the United States.


Nesrine Malik photo courtesy of author

 

Christina Hunger with Alexis Devine - How Stella Learned to Talk (Online Event)

Thursday, May 6, 2021 - 3:00pm


Thursday, May 6th, 2021

Online • Live • 3:00pm PT/6:00pm ET

Signed bookplates available!


 

An incredible, revolutionary true story and surprisingly simple guide to teaching your dog to talk from speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger, who has taught her dog, Stella, to communicate using simple paw-sized buttons associated with different words.

When speech-language pathologist Christina Hunger first came home with her puppy, Stella, it didn’t take long for her to start drawing connections between her job and her new pet. During the day, she worked with toddlers with significant delays in language development and used Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) devices to help them communicate. At night, she wondered: If dogs can understand words we say to them, shouldn’t they be able to say words to us? Can dogs use AAC to communicate with humans?

Christina decided to put her theory to the test with Stella and started using a paw-sized button programmed with her voice to say the word “outside” when clicked, whenever she took Stella out of the house. A few years later, Stella now has a bank of more than thirty word buttons, and uses them daily either individually or together to create near-complete sentences.

How Stella Learned to Talk is part memoir and part how-to guide. It chronicles the journey Christina and Stella have taken together, from the day they met, to the day Stella “spoke” her first word, and the other breakthroughs they’ve had since. It also reveals the techniques Christina used to teach Stella, broken down into simple stages and actionable steps any dog owner can use to start communicating with their pets.

Filled with conversations that Stella and Christina have had, as well as the attention to developmental detail that only a speech-language pathologist could know, How Stella Learned to Talk will be the indispensable dog book for the new decade.

Christina Hunger is a speech-language pathologist and the first person to teach a dog to “talk” using augmentative communication. She is the founder of Hunger for Words, a movement dedicated to giving everyone who understands language the tools to communicate. Hunger has a graduate degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northern Illinois University. She has professional expertise in using Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) to teach children with speech and language disorders to talk using communication devices. In May, Christina will launch the Hunger for Words Talking Pet Starter Set (developed in partnership with leading educational toy company Learning Resources) includes four customizable buttons and a step-by-step teaching guide written by Christina Hunger. She lives with her husband, Jake, and of course, her dog, Stella.

Alexis Devine is an artist and small-business owner from Tacoma, Washington. Inspired by Christina Hunger’s work, she started her own journey using Augmented & Alternative Communication (AAC) with her new puppy, Bunny, and documenting their progress on social media. Now, they have almost 6 million fans following their journey. For Alexis, it’s as much about the science behind her work as the impact it has on their lives - her relationship with Bunny has grown so much deeper through the added level of communication. On TikTok and Instagram, she invites her audience to not just follow Bunny’s progress with the buttons, but to explore how it has enriched their life as they go on beautiful hikes in the mountains, explore the beaches by their house, and visit their neighbors. She hopes to use her platform to build positivity and raise awareness. Charitable causes she has advocated for include Communication First, a disability-led nonprofit advocating those who have difficulty speaking, and the National Pediatric Cancer Foundation, the leading nonprofit working to cure childhood cancer.

 

Christina Hunger photo by Ariana Velazquez; Alexis Devine photo courtesy of author

 

Lionel Shriver - Should We Stay or Should We Go (Online Event)

Tuesday, June 8, 2021 - 1:00pm


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Book Passage Presents  

Tues., June 8th, 2021 • 1:00pm PT • Live • Online

In conversation with Zoe Strimpel

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR E-NEWSLETTER
This event will be broadcast live and does not require registration to attend. To view, please click the "Watch Here" button at the time of the event, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a ten-minute reminder.

 

When her father dies, Kay Wilkinson can’t cry. Over ten years, Alzheimer’s had steadily eroded this erudite man into a paranoid lunatic. Surely one’s own father passing should never come as such a relief.

Both medical professionals, Kay and her husband Cyril have seen too many elderly patients in similar states of decay. Although healthy and vital in their early fifties, the couple fears what may lie ahead. Determined to die with dignity, Cyril makes a modest proposal. To spare themselves and their loved ones such a humiliating and protracted decline, they should agree to commit suicide together once they’ve both turned eighty. When their deal is sealed, the spouses are blithely looking forward to another three decades together.

But then they turn eighty.

By turns hilarious and touching, playful and grave, Should We Stay or Should We Go portrays twelve parallel universes, each exploring a possible future for Kay and Cyril. Were they to cut life artificially short, what would they miss out on? Something terrific? Or something terrible? Might they end up in a home? A fabulous luxury retirement village, or a Cuckoo’s Nest sort of home? Might being demented end up being rather fun? What future for humanity awaits—the end of civilization, or a Valhalla of peace and prosperity? What if cryogenics were really to work? What if scientists finally cure aging?

Both timely and timeless, Lionel Shriver addresses serious themes—the compromises of longevity, the challenge of living a long life and still going out in style—with an uncannily light touch. Weaving in a host of contemporary issues, from Brexit and mass migration to the coronavirus, Shriver has pulled off a rollicking page-turner in which we never have to mourn perished characters, because they’ll be alive and kicking in the very next chapter.

Lionel Shriver's fiction includes The Mandibles; Property; the National Book Award finalist So Much for That; the New York Times bestseller The Post-Birthday World; and the international bestseller We Need to Talk About Kevin, adapted for a 2010 film starring Tilda Swinton. Her journalism has appeared in the Guardian, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and many other publications. She’s a regular columnist for the Spectator in Britain and Harper’s Magazine in the US. She lives in London and Brooklyn, New York.

Zoe Strimpel is a historian of gender in modern Britain, a flagship columnist for The Sunday Telegraph, and the author of three books, the most recent being Seeking Love in Modern Britain: Gender, Dating and the Rise of 'the Single' (Bloomsbury). She also co-presents the cultural podcast Hyped!

 

Lionel Shriver photo by Mark Kohn; Zoe Strimpel photo courtesy of author

 

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Three Ways In to Evocative, Authentic Presence and Branding for Authors and Entrepreneurs

Saturday, May 22, 2021 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm



Saturday, May 22, 1:30-3:30pm PT

Hosted via Zoom • Live • $75 • Class limited to 24
 

 

Authenticity is a word that gets over-used these days, but what it refers to—credible, trustworthy expression of the essence of a thing or being—is essential to the kind of self-promotion that feels easeful and aligned. That easeful alignment relaxes you, clarifies who you are, and connects you intimately with your audience.

Every business, every book, every writer, event or online page, has an essential authenticity — a Character all its own. When you apply Julia McNeal’s acclaimed Five Ways In to Character technique to your book, your business, or your online presence, you’ll bring that character into clear and vibrant focus.

In this two-hour workshop, you’ll learn how to apply three of the Five Ways In for greatest effect in bringing your work, yourself and your brand to the marketplace. You’ll come away with practical tools you can use whenever you are promoting your work. You’ll get access to language and a tone that is intimately congruent with and evocative of who you are and what you are creating — in alignment with your most authentic intention and purpose.

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, question/answer.

Julia McNeal’s Five Ways In to Character technique is a unique, 5-part approach for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by professional actor and coach, Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In to Character: A Three-Class Series (Ways Four and Five)

Saturday, September 25, 2021 - 1:30pm to 4:00pm



Way One (Sat., Sep. 11, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $60)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., Sep. 18, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., Sep. 25, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

Sign up for each class individually, or take all three and get a full-series discount

Online • Live • $180 for the series • Classes limited to 16
 

 

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

Following the great success of these online classes last year, Julia brings the entire series back to Book Passage this fall.

1. Way One of the Five Ways In to Character

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One” introduces the first of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed, while characters come into individuated clarity.

Bring to class: A line or two in the voice of—or a short description of—two or three characters you are creating/writing about — fictional or real.

2) Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique — focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about.

3) Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about (they can even be You.)

In each class, you will learn practical tools to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page. If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy, and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on three Saturdays: September 11th , 18th and 25th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, short writing time, question/answer. Class size limited to 16 students.

NOTE: Classes will be held on ZOOM and will not be recorded. Greatest effectiveness depends on working in person, in community (this is showing up for your Writing Time). Also, not recording protects individual and artistic privacy. Julia’s Five Ways In to Character book and videos are being created as we speak, and she hopes to have them available at the time of this Series.

©2021 Julia McNeal julia@juliamcnealarts.com

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In to Character: A Three-Class Series (Ways Two and Three)

Saturday, September 18, 2021 - 1:30pm to 4:00pm



Way One (Sat., Sep. 11, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $60)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., Sep. 18, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., Sep. 25, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

Sign up for each class individually, or take all three and get a full-series discount

Online • Live • $180 for the series • Classes limited to 16
 

 

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

Following the great success of these online classes last year, Julia brings the entire series back to Book Passage this fall.

1. Way One of the Five Ways In to Character

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One” introduces the first of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed, while characters come into individuated clarity.

Bring to class: A line or two in the voice of—or a short description of—two or three characters you are creating/writing about — fictional or real.

2) Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique — focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about.

3) Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about (they can even be You.)

In each class, you will learn practical tools to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page. If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy, and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on three Saturdays: September 11th , 18th and 25th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, short writing time, question/answer. Class size limited to 16 students.

NOTE: Classes will be held on ZOOM and will not be recorded. Greatest effectiveness depends on working in person, in community (this is showing up for your Writing Time). Also, not recording protects individual and artistic privacy. Julia’s Five Ways In to Character book and videos are being created as we speak, and she hopes to have them available at the time of this Series.

©2021 Julia McNeal julia@juliamcnealarts.com

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

Online Class: Julia McNeal - Five Ways In to Character: A Three-Class Series (Way One)

Saturday, September 11, 2021 - 1:30pm to 3:30pm



Way One (Sat., Sep. 11, 1:30-3:30pm PT • $60)

Ways Two & Three (Sat., Sep. 18, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

Ways Four & Five (Sat., Sep. 25, 1:30-4:00pm PT • $75)

Sign up for each class individually, or take all three and get a full-series discount

Online • Live • $180 for the series • Classes limited to 16
 

 

 

Five Ways In to Character is a unique, five-part technique for creating characters on the page and in performance. Synthesized by Julia McNeal, and honed over the last 15 years, this technique has never failed to deepen, clarify, and improve the character creation of all who apply it.

Following the great success of these online classes last year, Julia brings the entire series back to Book Passage this fall.

1. Way One of the Five Ways In to Character

The first of the Five Ways, “Way One” introduces the first of the “Outside-In” approaches of the technique. It’s the most fun to use and easiest to apply, with clear and immediate results. Even as it focuses on externally visible character details, by using this approach, deeper motivations and priorities are revealed, while characters come into individuated clarity.

Bring to class: A line or two in the voice of—or a short description of—two or three characters you are creating/writing about — fictional or real.

2) Ways Two and Three of the Five Ways In to Character

Way Two completes the “Outside-In” work of the technique — focusing on gender; and Way Three is the deep core of the technique: the Inside-Out work that opens the door to any character’s truest being and unique nature.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about.

3) Ways Four and Five of the Five Ways In to Character

Ways Four and Five are both Inside-Out work (starting with the inner world of a character, and discovering how that manifests outwardly). Way Four gives you Julia’s Artist’s/Writer’s Authentic Self meditation (totally valuable on its own, with or without characters to write!), and shows you how to apply it to creating distinct characters. Way Five is the simplest Inside-Out piece of the technique—almost a no-brainer—and always worth applying last.

Bring to class: A notebook and pen (rather than a device) to write with, and a short paragraph (1 – 5 sentences) that describes—or is in the voice of—a character you are working on or thinking about (they can even be You.)

In each class, you will learn practical tools to apply every time you want to get clear, compelling, recognizable and specific characters on the page. If you need something to shake up your writing routine, invite deeper truth, energy, and new ways of seeing the character(s) you are writing (even if that character is You), come play and learn on three Saturdays: September 11th , 18th and 25th. You’ll come away with a whole new way of looking at characters, and a concrete method of approach you can use, going forward.

Format of classes: Presentation, short interactive exercises, short writing time, question/answer. Class size limited to 16 students.

NOTE: Classes will be held on ZOOM and will not be recorded. Greatest effectiveness depends on working in person, in community (this is showing up for your Writing Time). Also, not recording protects individual and artistic privacy. Julia’s Five Ways In to Character book and videos are being created as we speak, and she hopes to have them available at the time of this Series.

©2021 Julia McNeal julia@juliamcnealarts.com

What Students Are Saying about Julia McNeal

“Julia’s Ways In is a brilliant and original set of techniques for exploring and deepening characters which go way beyond what writers usually learn and practice. A wonderful opportunity to learn from an accomplished actress how to
access the often elusive essence of characters and what makes them tick. Julia is a passionate and stimulating teacher and her classes crack open new insights and perspectives for writers committed to creating characters that are fully alive.”

"Julia's techniques help keep me excited about my writing projects rather than overwhelmed. Her classes offer a useful conceptual framework, actionable practices, and compassionate support."

“Thank you Julia. This was exactly what I needed to reconnect with my writing project after losing focus amid this whole pandemic situation.”

Megan Miranda with Hank Phillippi Ryan - Such a Quiet Place (Online Event)

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 - 5:30pm


Book Passage Presents

Wed., July 21, 2021 • 5:30pm PT • Live • Online

In conversation with Hank Phillippi Ryan

SUBSCRIBE TO OUR E-NEWSLETTER
This event will be broadcast live and does not require registration to attend. To view, please click the "Watch Here" button at the time of the event, or subscribe to our e-newsletter to receive a ten-minute reminder.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Last House Guest—a Reese Witherspoon Book Club selection—comes a new riveting suspense novel about a mysterious murder in an idyllic and close-knit neighborhood.

We had no warning that she’d come back.

Hollow’s Edge used to be a quiet place. A private and idyllic neighborhood where neighbors dropped in on neighbors, celebrated graduation and holiday parties together, and looked out for one another. But then came the murder of Brandon and Fiona Truett. A year and a half later, Hollow’s Edge is simmering. The residents are trapped, unable to sell their homes, confronted daily by the empty Truett house, and suffocated by their trial testimonies that implicated one of their own. Ruby Fletcher. And now, Ruby’s back.

With her conviction overturned, Ruby waltzes right back to Hollow’s Edge, and into the home she once shared with Harper Nash. Harper, five years older, has always treated Ruby like a wayward younger sister. But now she’s terrified. What possible good could come of Ruby returning to the scene of the crime? And how can she possibly turn her away, when she knows Ruby has nowhere to go?

Within days, suspicion spreads like a virus across Hollow’s Edge. It’s increasingly clear that not everyone told the truth about the night of the Truett’s murders. And when Harper begins receiving threatening notes, she realizes she has to uncover the truth before someone else becomes the killer’s next victim.

Pulsing with suspense and with the shocking twists that are Megan Miranda’s trademark, Such a Quiet Place is Megan Miranda’s best novel yet—a twisty locked-box thriller that will keep you turning pages late into the night.

Megan Miranda is the New York Times bestselling author of All the Missing Girls, The Perfect Stranger, The Last House Guest—a Reese Witherspoon Book Club pick—and The Girl from Widow Hills. She has also written several books for young adults, including Come Find Me, Fragments of the Lost, and The Safest Lies. She grew up in New Jersey, graduated from MIT, and lives in North Carolina with her husband and two children. Follow @MeganLMiranda on Twitter and Instagram, @AuthorMeganMiranda on Facebook, or visit MeganMiranda.com.

Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of 13 psychological thrillers, winning the genre's most prestigious awards: five Agathas, four Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also on-air investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV, winning 37 EMMYs. Book reviewers call her “a master of suspense” and “superb and gifted storyteller.” The Murder List (2019) won the Anthony Award for Best Novel and The First to Lie (2020) garnered a Publishers Weekly starred review and is nominated for the Anthony Award for Best Novel and Mary Higgins Clark Award. Her latest thriller, Her Perfect Life, is forthcoming in September 2021. Visit Hank at HankPhillippiRyan.com, Twitter @HankPRyan, Instagram @hankpryan, and on Facebook at HankPhillippiRyanAuthor. 

 

Megan Miranda photo by Magen Marie Photography; Hank Phillippi Ryan photo courtesy of author

 

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